SELAS goes to Voronya

A description of the participation of SELAS Caving Club, Greece, in the CAVEX missions of 2005 (January & July) to the world's deepest cave, recounted by a non-participant writing from the safety of Athens.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Training has started

Photos of yesterday's training visit to Chaos - a 50m doline near Athens available at:

On Saturday 14 May 2005 the members of the expedition to Voronya (-2,080) completed a number of descents and ascents of the doline "Chaos" in Aghios Konstantinos, east Attika. In all, the three members of SELAS who will be taking part in the expedition completed about 1,000m of descent and ascent (with repetitions).

Elias got there first and had to wait about an hour… sorry.

From left to right, Nikos Mitsakis, Iota Kafetzi and Nontas Emmanouil arriving at "Chaos"

From left to right, Kostas Adamopoulos (caspex), Elias Kazais and Nikos MItsakis, members of SELAS who will be participating in the expedition to Voronya (-2,080m)

Despite having wet the rope before descent, the heat of the day and the high temperatures achieved by the descender resulted in some serious burns to the rope's sheath. It is possible to see a small part of melted rope on the descender's workings. We'll have to check all the ropes before the next use.

Here, Nikos is about half way down the descent. The total descent is about 45 to 50 meters and it was a very hot day. The cavers descended and ascended many times with small breaks for adjustments to the equipment. Everything has to be perfect for the descent into the world's biggest cave, and the countdown has already started again.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Summer return planned

They say that when the horse you are riding on throws you, you got to get back in the saddle to show it who's the boss.

While this cannot be the case with a mountain - the mountain remains the undoubted boss always - the boys from SELAS are getting their bags packed again and getting their sponsors back on-side. First of July they set off again and I'll be here, ready to channel the news as it comes in.

As before, the mission is being organised by Oleg Klimchuk and Denis Provalov of CAVEX.